Microscopy of a cell with neurofibrillary tangles (marked by arrows).
Diagram of a normal microtubule and one affected by tauopathy
Diagram of how microtubules disintegrate with Alzheimer's disease
Diagram of a normal microtubule and one affected by tauopathy
Overview of RNA interference.
Abnormal accumulation of tau protein in neuronal cell bodies (arrow) and neuronal extensions (arrowhead) in the neocortex of a patient who died with Alzheimer's disease. The bar = 25 microns (0.025 millimeters).

Tauopathy belongs to a class of neurodegenerative diseases involving the aggregation of tau protein into neurofibrillary or gliofibrillary tangles (Neurofibrillary tangle) in the human brain.

- Tauopathy

Their presence is also found in numerous other diseases known as tauopathies.

- Neurofibrillary tangle
Microscopy of a cell with neurofibrillary tangles (marked by arrows).

5 related topics with Alpha

Overall

Drawing comparing a normal aged brain (left) and the brain of a person with Alzheimer's. Characteristics that separate the two are pointed out.

Alzheimer's disease

2 links

Neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and progressively worsens.

Neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and progressively worsens.

Drawing comparing a normal aged brain (left) and the brain of a person with Alzheimer's. Characteristics that separate the two are pointed out.
Stages of atrophy in Alzheimer's.
A normal brain on the left and a late-stage Alzheimer's brain on the right
In Alzheimer's disease, changes in tau protein lead to the disintegration of microtubules in brain cells.
Histopathologic images of Alzheimer's disease, in the CA3 area of the hippocampus, showing an amyloid plaque (top right), neurofibrillary tangles (bottom left), and granulovacuolar degeneration bodies (bottom center)
PET scan of the brain of a person with Alzheimer's disease showing a loss of function in the temporal lobe
Cognitive tests such as the Mini–Mental State Examination (MMSE) can help in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. In this test instructions are given to copy drawings like the one shown, remember some words, read, and subtract numbers serially.
Intellectual activities such as playing chess or regular social interaction have been linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease in epidemiological studies, although no causal relationship has been found.
Three-dimensional molecular model of donepezil, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease symptoms
Molecular structure of memantine, a medication approved for advanced Alzheimer's disease symptoms
Alois Alzheimer's patient Auguste Deter in 1902. Hers was the first described case of what became known as Alzheimer's disease.
Self-portrait of artist William Utermohlen, created after Alzheimer's disease diagnosis

The disease process is largely associated with amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and loss of neuronal connections in the brain.

In this model, hyperphosphorylated tau begins to pair with other threads of tau as paired helical filaments.

Neurons were grown in tissue culture and stained with antibody to MAP2 protein in green and MAP tau in red using the immunofluorescence technique. MAP2 is found only in dendrites and perikarya, while tau is found not only in the dendrites and perikarya but also in axons. As a result, axons appear red while the dendrites and perikarya appear yellow, due to superimposition of the red and green signals. DNA is shown in blue using the DAPI stain which highlights the nuclei. Image courtesy EnCor Biotechnology Inc.

Tau protein

2 links

The tau proteins (abbreviated from tubulin associated unit ) are a group of six highly soluble protein isoforms produced by alternative splicing from the gene MAPT (microtubule-associated protein tau).

The tau proteins (abbreviated from tubulin associated unit ) are a group of six highly soluble protein isoforms produced by alternative splicing from the gene MAPT (microtubule-associated protein tau).

Neurons were grown in tissue culture and stained with antibody to MAP2 protein in green and MAP tau in red using the immunofluorescence technique. MAP2 is found only in dendrites and perikarya, while tau is found not only in the dendrites and perikarya but also in axons. As a result, axons appear red while the dendrites and perikarya appear yellow, due to superimposition of the red and green signals. DNA is shown in blue using the DAPI stain which highlights the nuclei. Image courtesy EnCor Biotechnology Inc.

Pathologies and dementias of the nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease are associated with tau proteins that have become hyperphosphorylated insoluble aggregates called neurofibrillary tangles.

Hyperphosphorylation of the tau protein (tau inclusions, pTau) can result in the self-assembly of tangles of paired helical filaments and straight filaments, which are involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia and other tauopathies.

Amyloid beta immunostaining showing amyloid plaques (brown).

Amyloid plaques

1 links

Amyloid plaques (also known as neuritic plaques, Aβ plaques or senile plaques) are extracellular deposits of the amyloid beta (Aβ) protein mainly in the grey matter of the brain.

Amyloid plaques (also known as neuritic plaques, Aβ plaques or senile plaques) are extracellular deposits of the amyloid beta (Aβ) protein mainly in the grey matter of the brain.

Amyloid beta immunostaining showing amyloid plaques (brown).
Two amyloid plaques from the brain of a patient with Alzheimer's disease. In this photomicrograph, neurites are darkly stained with the Naoumenko-Feigin silver method, and the pink elements (including the plaque cores) are stained with the periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) counterstain. The bar is 20 microns (0.02 mm) in length.

Some plaques occur in the brain as a result of senescence (aging), but large numbers of plaques and neurofibrillary tangles are characteristic features of Alzheimer's disease.

The neurites contain a variety of organelles and cellular debris, and many of them include characteristic paired helical filaments, the ultrastructural component of neurofibrillary tangles.

A normal brain (left) and one with CTE (right)

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy

1 links

Neurodegenerative disease linked to repeated trauma to the head.

Neurodegenerative disease linked to repeated trauma to the head.

A normal brain (left) and one with CTE (right)

The disease is classified as a tauopathy.

Supporting features of CTE are: superficial neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs); p–tau in CA2 and CA4 hippocampus; p-tau in: mammillary bodies, hypothalamic nuclei, amygdala, nucleus accumbens, thalamus, midbrain tegmentum, nucleus basalis of Meynert, raphe nuclei, substantia nigra and locus coeruleus; p-tau thorn-shaped astrocytes (TSA) in the subpial region; p-tau dot-like neurites.

Primary age-related tauopathy

0 links

Primary age-related tauopathy (PART) is a neuropathological designation introduced in 2014 to describe the neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) that are commonly observed in the brains of normally aged and cognitively impaired individuals that can occur independently of the amyloid plaques of Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Patients with PART display neurofibrillary tangles that are essentially identical to those occurring in mild to moderate-stage Alzheimer's disease and other tauopathies.